Monday, March 26, 2012

Why do we race?

S - 11,900 yards
B - 247.1 miles
R - 43.8 miles

Time - 21.69 hours

On a more-important-than-training note I've watched a couple of episodes in the last two weeks of "Full Metal Jousting on the History channel, which is awesome.  There are few competitions that are quite as simple as "get on your horse, grab a big stick, ride at someone and try to knock them off (kill them in the olden days, of course)."  Obviously modern liability laws and insurance issues make this current iteration a little less deadly than it used to be...but, it's still pretty epic.  For example

Sorry for the poor quality; it's all I could find.  Needless to say, I'm not sure I'd be very good at this as I weigh 150 pounds, I'm weak, I have no idea how to ride a horse...etc.  Still, it'd feel completely bada** to strap on some armor, climb aboard your steed and go hit someone like a Mack truck.  I also don't want to damage the moneymaker:

Sometimes I wish triathlons were so simple.  There is so much going on during competition (and before, during, after...) that it's easy to lose track of what you're doing there.  Back in the day all you needed was your speedo, your bike, some shoes and maybe some other people to race.  Add a little fire in your belly and the bellies of some closest friends and voila, you have a great competition.

Speaking of fire in the belly, sometimes it's really hard to maintain motivation.  It's easy to forget why we are all doing what we are doing.  I've struggled a lot more this year, especially with swimming.  I'll have a good workout, a bad workout, another bad one, a good one, a short one.  Last year it was week after week and month after month of great, consistent volume in the pool.

I know people that have a bad race and suddenly feel like their purpose is lost.  Do they belong at the level on which they've established themselves as being (sorry for that horribly complicated sentence, I tried different ways and this is what I've come up with, I apologize)? Do the splits for SBR suddenly invalidate all the work they've done to get there?  Does one race determine who we are as athletes? Of course not! It's incredibly important for all of us to realize that this should be about the journey; not the destination.  If I allowed myself to be discouraged by bad races or workouts (I guess I do, but I mean EVERY bad workout and/or race) then I'd be chasing a dream that has no meaning.  I train because I like being fit.  I like being fit because I like to go fast.  I like to go fast because my friends are fast and I have to go fast to keep up with them.  I like to keep up with them because I like my friends.  I like my friends because relationships are important.  I like relationships because they make me a more complete person (and hopefully them as well...).  I like being a more complete person because it would suck to be a quarter person.  (I took that a lot further than I planned...)

I also like beating my friends at races.

If I ever, EVER, lose sight of why I'm training and racing you have permission to slap me in the face.  While this may be a selfish sport on one hand, it's one of the most sociable, community driven, and awesome sports on the other.  We can all help each other love what we're doing even more as long as we keep that in mind.


Accelerate3 said...

I like hammering my athletes up Mt. Lemmon every now and then. Helps keep them them focused so they can beat their friends.

Matt said...

great post James!

Kathrine said...

I think I should've read this a week ago.